But at least seven people died in their cars as they tried to evacuate. About 8,000 firefighters using fire fighting equipment including helicopters and air tankers were battling the flames, with assistance coming from out of state. If people don't evacuate quickly, they risk being overtaken by the fire.
Two people were also found dead in a wildfire in Southern California, where flames tore through Malibu mansions and working-class Los Angeles suburbs alike.
The blaze destroyed more than 6,700 buildings, almost all of them homes.
"In some cases the remains we are recovering are nothing but ash and bone", said Kory Honea, the Butte County sheriff.
Public safety officials toured the Paradise area to begin discussing the recovery process.
Malibu resident Tony Haynes described how strong winds brought the fire through his neighborhood during the weekend, with the sky growing dark, saying there was so much smoke he put on his scuba-diving tank to breathe.
"Paradise was literally wiped off the map", said Tim Aboudara, a representative for International Association of Fire Fighters.
Musicians Miley Cyrus and Rock and Roll hall of famer Neil Young also lost homes in the fire.
"Anytime you're a firefighter and your town burns down, there's a lot of feelings and a lot of guilt and a lot of concern about both what happened and what the future looks like", he said.
"Well, I'm alive", Phillips said Monday morning by phone.
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They rallied under a banner that said "Trump War" and slammed policies such as United States help for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. On Sunday morning a topless feminist activist from the group Femen made it close to Trump's motorcade on the Champs-Élysées.
Others continued the desperate search for friends or relatives, calling evacuation centers, hospitals, police and the coroner's office.
Hot dry winds expected to blow until tomorrow whipped up the flames and heightened the urgency of evacuation orders, officials said.
But Sol Bechtold is still holding out hope for his mother Joanne Caddy, who's been missing from Paradise for days.
"This is my daughter Sarah Rathburn and her boyfriend Harold Dooty, they lived at the Villa Monterey in Paradise, California", said Pam Mosher while holding up a flyer. "But you say it's going to be and pray that it will be, and that's what I'm doing", Mosher said.
"We learned her house was destroyed the other day, so don't know what's happened to her", Bechtold told CNN affiliate KRON.
The damage and human impact has been staggering, especially due to the the Camp Fire, which has charred almost 7,000 structures and making it one of the most damaging fires in California history.
"We are in this for the long haul", Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said.
He said officials were moving resources and preparing for "the next set of fires" as winds are expected to pick up.
"It went from nothing there to a line of fire as far as I could see", said Phillips, who was prominent in Sacramento as the head of the deputies union until he moved to Southern California in 2008.
Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Janie Har and Daisy Nguyen in San Francisco; Paul Elias and Martha Mendoza in Chico, California; and Andrew Selsky in Salem, Oregon.